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Old 11-01-2010, 10:12 AM
 
64 posts, read 223,436 times
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I was curious how most people find their apartments in SF? Through word of mouth, walking around, Craigslist, brokers? I don't see a huge selection on Craigslist and am hoping there are other options for finding a place. I'm moving in Jan and want to find something in the Mission.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:27 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Craigslist. Nobody really uses brokers unless they're really rich. There should be a ton of places listed for you on Craigslist unless your budget is too low for the city.

You could try Citiapartments, they they are a big real estate company that owns a ton of buildings, and they have listings on their website. They have a reputation for treating tenants in low-rent buildings badly but if you find something that is more of a mid-range price they might be ok.
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Old 11-01-2010, 01:50 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 28,004,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
You could try Citiapartments, they they are a big real estate company that owns a ton of buildings, and they have listings on their website. They have a reputation for treating tenants in low-rent buildings badly but if you find something that is more of a mid-range price they might be ok.
Possibly the worst advice I have read on this forum. Don't deal with CitiApartments.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:20 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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A few years ago I was looking for a 1 bedroom and looked at a Citiapartment place. It was a nice place at a nice price in a good location and they actually had someone meet with me alone at the apartment, which is pretty rare because usually in SF you have to go to a viewing where dozens if not over 100 people come to see the place and put in an application. I would have gone for the place but my girlfriend at the time had bad credit. I didn't see any problem with Citiapartments but I never became their tenant. Again they do have a reputation for some buildings in the Tenderloin being borderline inhospitable, I think they got sued for a lot of money and lost.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayorhaggar View Post
Craigslist. Nobody really uses brokers unless they're really rich. There should be a ton of places listed for you on Craigslist unless your budget is too low for the city.

You could try Citiapartments, they they are a big real estate company that owns a ton of buildings, and they have listings on their website. They have a reputation for treating tenants in low-rent buildings badly but if you find something that is more of a mid-range price they might be ok.
Thanks for the info. Can you find an apartment by walking around? I did a search for 1 bedrooms in the Mission and only saw 14 listings (at any price point). Are pickings really that slim for a neighborhood of 47,000?
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Location: South Korea
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Sometimes you see "for rent" signs outside of buildings but they are pretty rare. Usually landlords just post on craisglist about a viewing, and they get dozens of people coming to see the place. I think this is kind of particular to the Bay Area, when I lived in Chicago landlords would put listings on craigslist but when you would call them they would schedule a one-on-one appointment with you, which I like a lot better but demand is so much higher in the Bay Area that you just have to deal with the giant viewings, which makes it hard to find a place because you're competing with so many people. As a tip, be aggressive at a viewing and if you like a place try to give the landlord an application. Having a completed generic rental application (you can get them on the internet) and a copy of your credit report (printed from Equifax or whatever) and having your checkbook is ready.

I took a quick look on craigslist and it does seem like there aren't a lot of apartments listed in the Mission. Now that it's getting into the colder part of the year, maybe there are fewer people moving out of their old places compared with the summer and early fall.

I would not limit yourself to the Mission, demand in SF is so high that unless you're very wealthy it's hard to pick what neighborhood you live in, often you just have to go with whatever you can find at your price that is in a decent area and that is a nice apartment, because it can be so hard to find a landlord to pick you instead of the 200 other people who put in an application. And show up early at viewings, I've gotten two apartments in the past only because I was the first or second person to show up.
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Old 11-01-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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Yikes, you are scaring me Mayorhaggar! This sounds worse than NY. Thanks for the tip about showing up early.

Are apartments as competitive in Oakland/Berkeley? You piqued my interest in Rockridge in the other thread. (Though I didn't see a ton of Rockridge listings on CL either.)
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:32 PM
 
Location: In the Redwoods
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Originally Posted by lucillenyc View Post
Yikes, you are scaring me Mayorhaggar! This sounds worse than NY. Thanks for the tip about showing up early.
Don't be scared off... the above is only true if you're looking in the MOST popular price & location, i.e. under $1200 in SoMa. I found my last few places on Craigslist, and didn't really have any competition. One was a 3-bedroom house near Bayview (sketchy area), and I only had to edge out maybe 2 people - and my current place is a huge complex, so they have many vacancies at any given time. Like somebody else said, you probably want to expand your neighborhoods, since the Mission is overpriced and overcrowded. Why do you want to live there specifically? Just heard it's cool, or what?

Quote:
Are apartments as competitive in Oakland/Berkeley? You piqued my interest in Rockridge in the other thread. (Though I didn't see a ton of Rockridge listings on CL either.)
Probably not, but I've never really apartment-hunted in those towns. I did look at places in Berkeley once, and it didn't seem that competitive... one landlord was calling me for days to see if I was interested, so obviously he didn't have that many viewers on the place. Rockridge is kind of expensive, if I'm not mistaken, but Berkeley should be a tad cheaper than San Francisco (depending on the neighborhood).
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
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Outer Richmond, sign in window
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 34,752,604 times
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The East Bay is way easier. November is the worst time too look though. Not many people are leaving or moving. Berkeley has lots of student competition so if you choose peak times it'll be busy. And Berkeley on the whole has crappy apartments. Old or student infested. The landlords figure they can sucker in a naive student so upkeep tends to be minimal in the prime locations.
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